The Boxer is a medium to large, short-haired breed of dog.
The smooth-haired working dog breed named for its manner of “boxing” with its sturdy front paws when fighting.
Because of its reputation for courage, aggressiveness, and intelligence, it has been used in police work but is also valued as a watchdog and companion.
The average lifespan of the Boxer is 12 to 14 years.
The Boxer stands 53 to 63.5 cm (21 to 25 inches) and weighs 27 to 32 kg (60 to 70 pounds).
It is a trim, squarely built dog with a short, square-shaped muzzle, a black mask on its face.
The Boxer is a short-haired breed, with a smooth coat that lies tight to the body. The recognized colors are fawn and brindle, frequently with a white underbelly and white on the feet. These white markings, called “flash”, often extend onto the neck or face, and dogs that have these markings are known as “flashy”.
Boxers with white markings covering more than one-third of their coat – conventionally called “white” Boxers – are neither albino nor rare – about 20–25% of all Boxers born are white.
The Boxer is a hunting mastiff developed in Germany in the late 19th century from the now extinct Bullenbeisser, a dog of Mastiff descent, and Bulldogs brought in from Great Britain.
The Bullenbeisser had been working as a hunting dog for centuries, employed in the pursuit of bear, wild boar, and deer. Its task was to seize the prey and hold it until the hunters arrived.
In 1894, three Germans, Friedrich Robert, Elard König, and R. Höpner, decided to stabilize the breed and put it on exhibition at a dog show. This was done in Munich in 1896, and the year before they founded the first Boxer Club, the Deutscher Boxer Club. The club went on to publish the first Boxer breed standard in 1904, a detailed document that has not been changed much since.
The breed was introduced to other parts of Europe in the late 19th century and to the United States around the turn of the 20th century.
They were historically used for dog-fighting but then developed into loyal, hard-working canines that were used as protectors, hunters, and even couriers. They were one of the first breeds employed as police dogs in Germany.
During World War I, the Boxer was co-opted for military work, acting as a valuable messenger dog, pack carrier, attack dog, and guard dog.
The Boxer did not become popular around the world until after World War II. Taken home by returning soldiers, the dog was introduced to a wider audience and soon became a favorite as a companion, a show dog, and a guard dog.
Boxers began to gain popularity in the United States during the 1930s. The American Boxer Club (ABC) was formed in 1935. Boxers often have docked tails and cropped ears, but more boxer owners are leaving the ears uncropped.
A Boxer puppy is likely to cost between $500-$1,500 with the average price being $900.
Boxers take a long time to mature and it may be three years before your boxer is no longer a puppy. They are generally housetrained between 4 and 7 months of age, but some take longer.
They need plenty of exercise, which means their diet should be high in quality calories. The main source of these calories should be lean animal protein, which include lean chicken, turkey, lamb, and fish.
Boxers are not very tolerant of either cold or hot weather – their short coat doesn’t give them insulation against the cold, and because of their short noses, boxers can’t pant well so they can’t cool themselves off easily. It is best to keep boxers indoors during extreme weather, hot or cold. Exercise your boxer during the coolest part of the day during hot weather.
While not all boxers are droolers, some drool excessively. They have also been known to be snorers. Luckily, they are not known as diggers and most boxers don’t bark except when appropriate.
According to the AKC’s website, though, the boxer is now the 11th-most popular dog breed in the United States.